Water leaks are subtle and can go unnoticed for a long time. If your business’s water bill is climbing steadily, but you’re not using any more water than usual, then a leak might be to blame. Finding leaks is difficult, but not impossible, and plugging them is an essential step towards saving water and money.
Start with the supply pipe
The supply pipe does just that. It runs between your water meter and stop tap. It’s also one of the most common sites to develop a leak, so it’s worth checking here first. Start by looking for your water meter. Larger businesses usually situate their meters in a dedicated plant room, meter house, or even an underground meter chamber.
Next, you’ll need to find the internal stop tap. It should be close to where the service pipe enters the premises. Turn the stop tap off and then take a meter reading. Wait for around an hour and then take another one. If the reading has changed in the interim, then you’ve got a leaky supply pipe.
If the meter reading didn’t change, however, then it’s time to look inside. This is a more involved process because you’ll need to turn off every single appliance that uses water: dishwashers, sinks, toilets. Even the central heating needs to be switched off. The internal stop tap should be left on this time, though.
Take a meter reading at the end of the day, just before you leave the premises, followed by another one in the morning. If the reading has changed, then you likely have a leak somewhere within the building. Once you’ve taken the reading, it’s safe to turn everything back on again, but the process of finding the leak is anything but simple. Look for patches of black mold or fungus on the walls, areas where wallpaper is peeling, or paint is blistering. These are all signs of damp, potentially caused by a leaking water pipe.
Perform a water audit
If trying to find the leak yourself doesn’t yield any fruit, then it might be time to bring in the professionals. Water audits are offered for free and as standard when you switch water providers (which is good practice anyway) using a comparison tool like https://www.businesswaterquotes.co.uk/. The audit involves someone visiting your business premises and then conducting an examination of the entire water network.
Leak identification plays a large part in that examination. Surveyors will investigate every inch of your system, so they’ll be able to isolate any problems. The audit won’t just flag up leaks, though. It will look for areas where you’re using a lot of water, inefficient usage, and, of course, places where you could improve. The final report will make a series of recommendations to help you use less water, so not only will you identify the leak, but you’ll be able to lower your water bills in the future.